The history of home gaming is filled with feuds, rivalry, and competition. Over the years, many companies tried to put video games in our living rooms, from Atari to Apple. Some of these were successful, others not so much – the list of failures is especially long in the case of handheld consoles. In time, three companies survived the decades of competition: Sony and its PlayStation, Microsoft, and its Xbox, and Nintendo.
Today, the video game industry has more branches than ever. On one hand, we have the massive PC gaming market with dozens of developers and millions of players around the world. The PC is popular because it’s not a dedicated gaming machine – with a few components added to the mix, you can turn an office PC into an acceptable gaming rig. Some would go even as far as to call PC gaming a superior experience due to the amazing hardware one can cram into a box with Plexi sides, multicolour lights, and cooling rigs that fit into a science fiction movie.
On the other hand, there is an incredibly lucrative world of mobile games. Smartphone gaming currently dominates the market when it comes to yearly revenues – very few mobile games are paid for, with most of them generating revenue for the publisher through microtransactions and ads.
Third, there is Nintendo, the company that deserves a category of its own. Nintendo doesn’t appear to intend to compete with PC gaming, offering its fans a unique experience.
Finally, there is the high-end console duopoly, with Xbox and Sony competing with high-performance hardware and exclusive titles. And this duopoly is what the upcoming Mad Box console wants to break.
What is the “Mad Box”?
Slightly Mad Studios is a game developer that has given the world some truly excellent driving simulators – like Need for Speed: Shift (with EA), Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends, and the Project CARS series (with Bandai Namco). A decade after the release of its first major title, Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell decided to up his game and announced that the company plans to develop in a different direction: it plans to release a gaming console in the coming years, one that will successfully compete with the leading consoles on the market today.
Bell did not reveal too much about the upcoming console, only plans and hopes. According to the press, it will have a performance to exceed Sony and Microsoft’s offering today, running games in a 4K resolution at up to 120 fps, and supporting most major virtual reality rigs. According to him, the console will have a performance similar to a “very fast PC” two years from now and come with a dedicated game engine that will be distributed free to developers. Also, he said that it will definitely not have any exclusive titles.
Competition is always welcome in a market that has to evolve… but as the many examples of the past have shown us, new products often fall victim to the pressure of the competitors. Do you think this is the best time to introduce a new gaming console into the market?